The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


News of: Monday, 30th of March, 2009

Front Page

Focus on mutiny beyond Dhaka

After some initial headway in the probe into the Pilkhana carnage, investigators are also training their focus on successive events at different BDR battalions across the country which could have led to a "civil war".

Most parties yet to report to EC

Thirty-four out of 38 registered political parties that contested the December 29 parliamentary election are yet to submit their poll expenditure reports to the Election Commission (EC) with the deadline for submission expiring tomorrow.

Help democracy get stronger

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought cooperation from the media in strengthening the foundation of democracy and ensuring its uninterrupted run.

RTI bill passed

The House yesterday passed the much-awaited bill to continue people's right to information, incorporating a parliamentary body's recommendation to limit a few organisations' absolute authority to refuse to divulge information.

MPs differ on scope to whiten money

Lawmakers are deeply divided over allowing legalisation of undisclosed money in the next fiscal year's budget. They put forward contending proposal at a pre-budget meeting with the finance minister yesterday.

UAE won't send back Bangladeshi workers

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) assured Bangladesh of not retrenching Bangladeshi workers and sending them back, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday after his visit to the gulf nation last week.

BNP found oblivious, AL report ready

Leaders of BNP, main opposition in parliament have expressed ignorance about submission of the party's poll expenditure report to the Election Commission (EC) despite political parties' obligation to submit the report by tomorrow.

BNP stages walkout

The BNP-led opposition lawmakers yesterday walked out of the House in protest against expunging of speeches of its newly elected women lawmakers in the reserved seats in parliament.

Ershad's motorcade attacked

At least six people, including a Jatiya Party (JP) lawmaker, were injured and 10 vehicles damaged partially when the motorcade of JP Chairman HM Ershad came under attack in Sadar upazila of Kurigram yesterday.

Jamaat leader Razzak to be questioned

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has decided to interrogate top Jamaat-e-Islami leader barrister Abdur Razzaq in order to verify information that indicated his 'involvement' in the carnage at the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters on February 25-26.

Govt mulls $242m 'transport corridor'

The government decided to build Benapole-Bhatiapara road and develop the Bogra-Natore Highway under the second phase of Transport Corridor Project to facilitate trade through land ports.

MPs ignored EC request

Local lawmakers ignored the Election Commission (EC) request not to visit their constituencies before and during the by-elections, alleged Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday.

JS body ends scrutiny of upazila bill

A parliamentary body yesterday finalised the recommendation for amending the upazila parishad bill on reintroducing a provision that makes taking lawmakers' suggestions mandatory for the local government body to run their activities.

Bill on CrPC to be examined further

The government has decided to further scrutinise the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (Amendment) Bill 2009 empowering the executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Season's first hailstorm sweeps city

At least five passengers went missing as a local engine boat capsized in the Buriganga yesterday evening in the gusty wind that accompanied by hailstorm and moderately heavy rain swept over the capital.

Ex-MP Ilyas charge-sheeted

Police submitted charge sheet against former lawmaker M Ilyas Ali and 47 BNP activists of Biswanath upazila in a case filed in connection with snatching ballot papers of the December 29 parliamentary elections.

Cyber spies break into govt computers in 103 countries

A cyber spy network based mainly in China hacked into classified documents from government and private organisations in 103 countries, including the computers of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan exiles, Canadian researchers said Saturday.

Indo-Pak war after Mumbai attacks seemed close

Pakistan had put its air force on high alert and planned "offensive operations" against India if it launched military strikes on its territory after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November, a top military officer has said.

Hopes dim for unity display at Arab summit

Arab leaders were due in Qatar yesterday for their annual summit but hopes of putting on a show of regional unity were dimmed after Egypt's president announced he would not be attending.

Thai PM hits back at Thaksin rallying call

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday accused fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra of stoking unrest for personal gain as protesters surrounded the seat of government for a fourth day.

Anti-Qaeda fighters in Iraq surrender arms

Anti-Qaeda Sunni fighters walk slowly towards Iraqi troops holding aloft their Kalashnikov rifles in a sign of surrender as a deadline looms to give up their arms of face reprisals.

Iranian missile experts in N Korea

A group of Iranian missile experts is in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for a rocket launch, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported yesterday.

Editorial

Tiding over the downturn

WE draw a sense of relief from the fact that the government has finally made a coherent and substantive policy statement on its plans to shore up the economy already facing the tribulations of global financial meltdown, with 2010 feared to be critical.

Diplomatic offensive in defence of migrant workers

MINISTER of State for Foreign Affairs Hasan Mahmud has been making the right noises about the future of Bangladeshi and other migrant workers. He has just told a conference organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Geneva that countries which decide to do away with the services of migrant workers should pay them adequate compensation before sending them home. The minister has also made the very valid point that till a disposal of employment-related issues in foreign countries, workers who are ordered to leave those countries must be given a reasonable period of time for them to seek and collect their unpaid wages.

Democracy the best revenge

SHEIKH Hasina, the incumbent prime minister, while in opposition, was rubbed the wrong way by successive governments and driven from pillar to post by them. In a departure from democratic tradition she was contemptuously treated by Khaleda Zia, her arch-rival, during the latter's rule, when, as leader of the opposition, Hasina was denied any role in statecraft.

Bailout, deficits, and inflation

WHEN speaking at the “Macro-economic Management in the Global Challenges” conference, Finance Minister Abdul Muhit expressed concerns about collecting more tax revenues to offset some of the adverse effects of global recession that is slowly tiptoeing into the Bangladesh economymostly through loss of exports and expatriate remittances. However, expectation of higher tax revenues during a recession to help the economy is counter-intuitive.

Capitalism and its victims

IT has never been easy offering a critique of capitalism or markets to my undergraduate students. Most have never heard an unkind word about these bedrock institutions, which they know to be the foundations of American power and prosperity.

Sports

Getting into IPL stride

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is a special one in our country's cricket. His performance with Abahani in the ongoing Premier Division Cricket League once again proved why he is exceptional from other cricketers of his generation. Constantly living with a career-threatening injury and barred from bowling at any pace to heal his recurring back pain in the last four Premier League games, the Narail Express still played a major role in holding Abahani in pole position either with his off-spin or with the bat. His last knock against Mohammedan on Saturday that contained seven sixes can be best described as a perfect warm up for a bigger battle that he would embark on when the billion-dollar IPL starts in South Africa next month.

False start for Dido

Brazilian coach Edson 'Dido' Silva was not happy the way his first day of training with the national team started.

Joy for Ansar

Just a couple of days after the jam-packed Bangabandhu National Stadium witnessed a high-voltage Abahani-Mohammedan final of the Super Cup, it was not easy to stare at the nearly empty stands during anther final.

Astounding Argentina

Diego Maradona made a dream home debut as Argentina coach when his side demolished Venezuela 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday while Uruguay and Colombia followed suit with home wins.

Icing on the cake for BFF

The Citycell Super Cup not only entertained the fans but also enriched the purse of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) as about Tk 20 lakh came from gate money.

Maruf kept waiting

Despite delivering two trophies including the Tk one-crore Super Cup to Mohammedan, coach Maruful Haque's job at the local giants looks at stake.

Fight for top intensifies

Baridhara Dazzlers have strengthened their claim to rise to the Premier Division Cricket League when they won their First Division Cricket League match against Khelaghar by 16 runs at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Local Snippets

Fide Masters (FM) Abu Sufian Shakil and Mehdi Hasan Parag jointly lead the points table with five points each after the fifth round of games ended at the preliminary phase of the Mercantile Bank 35th National Chess Championship at the chess federation hall-room.

BD-Eng D/N Test at Lord's?

The first Test under lights may be held in May next year when England open the summer against Bangladesh at Lord's, according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph.

Gambhir ton lifts India

A batting master class from Sachin Tendulkar and a century to Gautam Gambhir took India to the verge of making New Zealand bat again on the fourth day of the second Test in Napier yesterday.

Franchises race for base

With just three weeks left for the IPL to begin in South Africa, the eight teams have begun a race against time to get their player combinations and practice bases in place.

Giants show strength

World Cup winners Italy, European title-holders Spain, France, Germany and Holland showed the footballing fraternity on Saturday the established nations are only getting stronger.

Small is beautiful

Small is sometimes monumental in the world of soccer. On Sunday, people were waking up on all continents to the rhythms of the World Cup whose first finals in Africa are just over a year away, in South Africa in 2010.

Not too many Loew-s

Germany coach Joachim Loew applauded what he felt was a professional performance from his players in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Liechtenstein.

Golden Beckham

David Beckham set his sights on a starring role at the World Cup after earning a record-breaking 109th cap in England's 4-0 friendly win against Slovakia.

Lippi expects smooth sailing

Italy coach Marcelo Lippi has urged his side to build on the advantage they now have at the top of Group Eight as they prepare for their next World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland.

Iran sack Daei

Iran on Sunday sacked its national football team coach Ali Daei following its defeat against Saudi Arabia in a 2010 World Cup qualifier, the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

Brawn 1-2 in Melbourne

Britain's Jenson Button led home a sensational one-two finish for Brawn GP in its debut Formula One team start at the twilight Australian Grand Prix here on Sunday.

Marwijk happy with win

Holland coach Bert van Marwijk hailed a "terrific" performance by his side following the 3-0 win over Scotland.

Business

Build Bangladesh as powerful brand

The curtain came down on a high-profile seminar of Bangladesh Brand Forum yesterday, with calls for highlighting the positives and strengths of the country to build it as a powerful brand.

Delve into inner self for business creativity

For a leader -- either in business or other areas, it is the 'creative unconscious' that provides an "incredible source of inspiration".

Rice, not cash for job scheme

The government will provide rice, instead of cash, in the second phase of the 100-day employment generation programme, Hossain Toufique Imam, an advise r to the prime minister, said yesterday.

Concern over possible cut in shopping hours

Shop owners in Dhaka yesterday expressed concern over the possibility of cutting back on the opening hours of the shops and markets in the city by an hour from 8pm to 7pm, and demanded that the government let them keep open their businesses until 8pm.

Minister talks tough on power sector graft

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday said the government would take punitive actions against the corrupt officials under his ministry.

Women entrepreneurship suffers from orthodox mindset

The prevailing social mindset is the foremost roadblock to the success of women entrepreneurship, leading businesswomen said yesterday.

Big plan for SME loans

Prime Bank Limited has planned to provide Tk 1,000 crore loans to the country's small and medium enterprises (SMEs) this year for more employment generation.

Middle East leisure vessels on rocks

Sales of luxury and leisure vessels are on the rocks in the Middle East, where owning a boat for cruising, entertaining or fishing is seen as a status symbol, industry officials say.

More taxes likely on tobacco products

National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Muhammad Abdul Mazid said yesterday the government would increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Conference stresses roadmap for Digital Bangladesh

The government should immediately focus on IT education to execute its election pledge to create a digital Bangladesh by 2021, speakers at a discussion observed yesterday.

Asian currencies mainly up

Asian currencies ended the week mainly up against the dollar but the yen lost ground, with analysts awaiting the results of the Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan" survey this week for guidance.

Stocks mark sharp fall

Stocks declined heavily yesterday, backed by a large drop in banking sector shares.

Obama to unveil plans to salvage US auto sector

With the US auto industry skidding toward an abyss, President Barack Obama unveils his plan today for the sector that could entail more federal aid to help manufacturers weather the economic storm.

Manikganj trade fair kicks off

A trade fair began at the Government Boys' High School playground in Manikganj yesterday.

Over 26,000 jobs lost in Malaysia

More than 26,000 people have lost their jobs in Malaysia so far this year as the economic slowdown forced employers to cut back, state news agency Bernama reported Sunday.

Bill Clinton calls for return to goods, services economy

The best solution to the global financial crisis is to revert to an economy of goods and services that is based less on finance, former US president Bill Clinton said Saturday.

Australian PM plays down G20 stimulus prospects

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Sunday played down the chances of a new global stimulus package being agreed at the G20 summit in London this week.

Next cabinet to decide fate of Kuwait refinery

The next Kuwaiti cabinet will decide whether to proceed with a 15-billion dollar refinery project that was halted due to procedural flaws, the official KUNA news agency said Sunday, citing the oil minister.

3 officials named for US Treasury

US President Barack Obama on Saturday nominated three prominent experts in international finance and legal issues for top positions at the Department of Treasury.

Metropolitan

Work unitedly to eliminate fanaticism, militancy

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday said the government and the non-government organisations should work together to eliminate religious fanaticism and militancy.

'Cleaner production best approach to waste management'

Experts at a workshop yesterday said cleaner production in industries and factories is the best approach to managing hazardous waste in the country.

'One in every 4 households suffers from food insecurity'

One in every four households is in food insecurity in the country that leads to two million children aged between six months and five years suffering from acute malnutrition, revealed a study yesterday.

Call to start eliminating gender discrimination at family

Eliminating gender discrimination has to start from the family, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.

Measures to be taken for copy-free HSC exams

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said necessary measures would be taken to hold the HSC and its equivalent examinations in a completely copy-free atmosphere, beginning from April 16 under 10 education boards, across the country.

'Try war criminals to root out militancy'

Speakers at a rally here yesterday demanded immediate trial of war criminals of 1971 and steps to root out militancy from the country.

Two cattle lifters beaten to death

Two suspected cattle lifters were killed and two others injured seriously in a mass beating at Sharifbagh in Dhamrai poura area early yesterday.

BDR DG leaves for Delhi today

Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Maj General Mainul Islam will leave for New Delhi today to attend a 'courtesy border conference' with his Indian counterpart ML Kumawat.

Conspiracy on to turn country into failed state

BNP Secretary General Khandker Delwar Hossain yesterday said his party along with the people would face the conspiracy now being hatched to turn the country into a failed state through misleading propaganda.

Statements of 2 constables recorded

Two police constables yesterday gave their statements to a Dhaka court in connection with the August 21, 2004 grenade attack cases.

'Law should not be imposed from above'

Law is not a system to be imposed from above rather practice that can be managed in a system thus eliminating violence from the society and creating empowerment, said Prof Werner Menski of School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Bir Bahadur takes over as CHTDB chair

Awami League lawmaker Bir Bahadur yesterday joined as chairman of the Chittagong Hill Tract Development Board (CHTDB).

Reshuffle in DMP

In another reshuffle in Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) administration, 28 inspectors were transferred yesterday.

45 women MPs-elect sworn in

The newly elected members of parliament (MPs) from the reserved women seats were sworn in at the oath-room of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban yesterday.

Road crashes kill 2

Two people were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Jhenidah and Chittagong yesterday.

6 Japanese volunteers arrive

Six new Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) arrived in the city recently for a two-year assignment, says a press release.

MJF hails govt for RTI

Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) yesterday hailed the government for passage of a bill on right to information.

7 honoured in Sylhet

Seven eminent persons were honoured at a function here Saturday night for their contribution to different fields.

Dy speaker fears militant attack on JS

Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali yesterday said there is apprehension of militant attack on Sangsad Bhaban.

'Controversy meaningless'

Controversy over the declaration of independence is meaningless, as people did not engage in the war of independence by the call of a single man, speakers said at a discussion yesterday.

Ensure congenial atmosphere: BNP

BNP yesterday urged the government to ensure congenial atmosphere for campaign for the April 2 by-elections.

Tk 77 lakh stolen from Apollo Hospitals vault

Burglars stole around Tk 77.50 lakh breaking open a vault of Apollo Hospitals in the city early yesterday.

Wajed Mia returns home

Dr Wajed Mia, eminent scientist and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's husband, returned home last night after undergoing successful treatment in Singapore.

Another college reopens in Rajshahi today

Rajshahi New Government Degree College reopens today after 15 days of unscheduled closure.

Talent hunt for schoolchildren begins April 4

This year's 'Marks all-rounder, protivar jholoke sera hao poloke', a talent hunt for schoolchildren to boost their creativity, is going to start next month, organisers said yesterday.

Malaysian team calls on DU VC

A four-member delegation of Science University, Malaysia called on Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique at his university office yesterday.

Two students drown

Two madrasa students drowned in a pond in Turag area on the outskirts of the city yesterday.

Attack on DU teacher, artistes condemned

Different cultural organisations condemned the criminal attack on Dr Hossain Mansur, a teacher of Dhaka University and Bangabandhu researcher, TV producer Sheikh Uzzal and recitation artiste Arzu Khan.

FAO ministerial meeting in Bangkok today

The ministerial meeting of Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) regional conference for Asia and the Pacific begins in Bangkok today.

4 Arakan Army men arrested in Bandarban

Four members of Arakan Army, a Myanmar-based militant group, were arrested by the intelligence agency men at Roangchhari Jeep Station in Bandarban town yesterday.

National

Revive gas projects for 10 south-western dists

Greater Khulna Development Action Coordination Committee (GKDAC), Khulna Citizens' Forum (KCF) and Khulna Press Club have decided to launch a joint agitation demanding full implementation of the Bheramara-Khulna Gas Circulation Line and Gas Distribution Line projects in 10 districts of south-western (SW) region.

Children learning 'distorted' history

Children on their way to schools often stop in front of the “martyred freedom fighters memorial” at the entrance to the town on Nilphamari-Saidpur highway.

8 hurt as Jubo League rivals clash in Barisal

At least eight people were injured, one by bullets, during a clash between two factions of Jubo League over capture of a disputed land in Banaripara town under Barisal district yesterday.

Steps to bring eve-teasers to book in Chittagong

At last, steps have been taken to save schoolgirls in the port city from the menace of eve teasing.

A great victory yet to get any recognition

People of Lalpur in Natore district will observe 'Moynar Juddho Dibash' today as valiant freedom fighters in the area destroyed a large number of Pakistan occupation forces on this day in 1971.

Six sued for war crimes in Jhenidah

A case was filed against six people on Wednesday on charge of their involvement in war crimes in 1971.

Lawyer jailed for forgery

The Chief Judicial Magistrate Court of Sirajganj yesterday sentenced a lawyer to five years imprisonment for forgery.

Six pipeguns seized near RU campus

Police yesterday recovered six country-made pipe guns from a dry pond at Dasmari near Rajshahi University (RU) campus.

Letters

PM on agriculture

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that her government would modernize the country's agriculture system using latest technology to ensure food security. The PM made this assertion when Food & Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Bangladesh Representative Ad Spijkers met her at her office recently. Spijkers appreciated the government's food policy and assured of FAO's support in ensuring food security.

Guidebooks

Generally speaking, there is a great demand for guidebooks meant for the students of schools and colleges. Recent reports published in the dailies highlight the fact that the bookstores are literally flooded with guidebooks. And the number seems to be on the rise.

Education policy

The government is contemplating formulation of a new education policy in line with the Qudrat-e-Khuda Education Commission report of 1974 and also taking into consideration the education policies formulated by past governments. We welcome the decision of the government; the policy should ensure equal opportunity for all, irrespective of girls and boys, affluent and poor, rural and urban and match with current demands .

Workers in trouble

It is matter of great regret that our workers abroad are facing a hard time. Every day we hear the news of labour retrenchment by foreign companies or their employers. A large number of workers are coming back home because of faulty recruitment, dishonesty of the employers who don't pay wages and other benefits regularly and finally prevailing global financial crisis. Labour unrest, nowadays, is a common phenomenon around the world. Bangladeshi workers who go abroad (mostly the Middle East and some South East Asian countries) sell their only possession like a small piece of land or mortgaging their own house to the village mahajons or lenders in order to meet the expenses with the hope that they will be able to earn some money. But when they are betrayed and those minimum requirements are not fulfilled as promised earlier, they don't have any way out but life long disappointment. In most of the cases, it is due to some dishonest middlemen and recruiting agencies who form a syndicate along with their foreign counterparts. There is an allegation that our missions in those countries have failed to tackle the situation in many cases. They have not taken any effective measures in this regard. We should keep in mind that those poor and unfortunate workers, who are the lifeblood of our economy, send a huge amount of remittance to our country every year.

Strike at DMCH

Strike at the DMCH by interns was unexpected. The strike was called to protest alleged misbehaviour by the relatives of a man who had died half an hour after his admission in the hospital. But the alleged misbehaviour was not a good reason to call a strike. The doctors in their bid to protest what they deemed unfair, themselves indulged in activities which were a stark violation of the norms of their noble profession. As a result 10 patients have died (report from BBC) and 2000 patients were deprived of emergency medical care. What were the interns trying to achieve through inflicting such punishment on the innocent treatment seekers?

Student politics

Referring to the article, "Students these days", by Mohammad Lutfor Rahman, PhD Student, Genetic Epidemiology, and University College London (UCL), 2009/03/20.

Health policies in schools

Health policies in schools, as well as skill-based health schooling and the conditions of different health services, can help attain health, sanitation and nourishment of kids. But superior school health policies should go afar this to certify a secure and safe corporal setting and a helpful psychosocial atmosphere. Such policies should address issues of abuse of students, sexual harassment, health-related practices of teachers and students, school violence etc to help promote inclusion and equity in the school environment. Policies regarding the health-related practices of teachers and students can reinforce health education: teachers can act as positive role models for their students, for example, by not smoking in school. The process of developing and agreeing upon policies draws attention to these issues. The policies are best developed by involving several levels, including the national level, regional and district level, and the school level with the participation of the teachers, children, parents and the wider society.

Buddhist Welfare Trust

The Buddhist Religious Welfare Trust is a government institution under the Ministry of Religion. But actually it doesn't reflect its real appearance through the activities accomplished by the trust. The Buddhist community of the country is not happy with its performance. At present the post of the secretary is vacant.

Price of rice

Any way, the price of rice is continuing to fall. The government step to sell rice at Tk 18 per kg to garment workers will definitely further lower the price. But this artificial price fall will adversely affect the paddy growers. This year farmers had to purchase urea at Tk 600 per bag, just double the price they paid last year. the long drought increased the irrigation cost considerably. Labour cost these days has also increased a lot. So it is apprehended that next month when boro paddy will be harvested, the price of paddy may go down further. The marginal farmers who will be compelled to sell their products immediately after harvesting will suffer most.

A suggestion

There is not need to introduce Dr. Muhammed Zafar Iqbal. Everybody knows him. He is not only a scientist and university teacher, but is also a famous writer. He is the son of a martyr of 1971. He has always been with progressive social and secular movements.

Transit issue

The transit issue is not only an economic one, it's a political issue which needs careful handling. Recently, India has started building Tipaimukh barrage which will hurt our agriculture and environment as it would dry up the flow of Surma and Kushiara rivers. Tension also built up last December when Indian naval ships entered Bangladesh's waters to explore gas and oil. There are also so many unresolved issues between India and Bangladesh like water sharing, enclave transfer, Farakka problem, obstacles faced by Bangladeshi exporters while they try to export goods to India etc.

Invasion of cockroaches!

In recent times too many cockroaches have filled the homes of many people. These cockroaches are increasing in number day by day. No one seems to take drastic action against these mighty cockroaches. And it is also not possible to 'minimize' these cockroaches with chemical spray only. These cockroaches have become used to living under any circumstances.

Hermaphrodites' wretched life

There are about 15 thousand hermaphrodites in our country. They live in abject poverty. Most of the hermaphrodites are discriminated against by their families, society and state. A team of hermaphrodites comes to an urban area from village for livelihood. They are controlled by the leader (Sorderni) in society.

PM's decisions

Women need to be represented in the ministries as part of the AL's policy of bringing about changes. But remember they were/are not bred or groomed like Ms. Rice or Hillary Clinton of the USA. They could be made junior ministers to gather experience and be adept in the know-how of running the administration.

Water logging

Every year we can see that slight rainfall leads to water logging in Dhaka city. The water cannot pass through drains, or pass very slowly. Moreover, water overflows from the drains. Very bad smell spreads out from this water. In many places, there are no covers on drains and manholes. People are throwing whatever they can in the drains every day. They are also throwing polybags, various plastic products, coconut shell etc into the drains.

Drowning economies

Some days ago there was a documentary on CNN, portraying Bangladesh as a "drowning country", but to me America seems to be the real drowning country. As the economies around the world are so closely linked to America, it is going to pull them all deep down when it drowns.

Kanchan's campaign

Ilias Kanchan is one of the leading film stars of this country. But in my view, as a social worker he is more important. I have never met him. Probably, I will never get the chance to meet him, but he is really rendering valuable social service.

Mayor and mosquitoes

An editorial of 22nd March, on the subject, published in a local daily, gave a synopsis of the "Pass the buck on" syndrome of our Mayor, whose subjects (the mosquitoes) are creating a lot of problems by indiscriminately attacking peaceful law abiding citizen of the metropolis!

Religion and modern life

In this modern age, most of the people are far, far away from religious knowledge and practices. Religion has been replaced by hypocrisy. People do not care much how they are living. But in times of distress ultimately they turn to religion because spiritual happiness lies in religious practices.

International

US asks ISI to cut ties with Afghan extremists

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates urged Pakistan's powerful intelligence service to cut contacts with extremists in Afghanistan, which he called an "existential threat" to Pakistan itself.

Taliban militants abduct 12 Pak policemen

Taliban militants abducted 12 police officers in a pre-dawn attack yesterday in a tribal region where a suicide attack on a mosque this week killed around 50 worshippers, officials said.

Rebellion in NCP, Cong ranks over poll tickets

Trouble is brewing within ruling Congress-NCP with both parties facing infighting and rebellion in about six to seven constituencies in Maharashtra. Both parties face a gigantic task of pacifying disgruntled elements within their own ranks as many their leaders have become rebellion.

Islamabad not happy with Obama strategy

Pakistan has decided to convey its concerns through diplomatic channels over certain aspects of the new policy for the region announced by President Barack Obama on Friday.

India test fires cruise missile

The Indian army yesterday successfully test fired the land-attack version of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile at the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan. The missile took off successfully and hit the "bull's eye", an official statement said.

Lankan troops gun down 46 rebels in fresh fighting

Sri Lankan government troops killed at least 46 rebels during weekend battles in the northeast of the island where they have cornered the Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the defence ministry said yesterday.

Policemen, soldiers among 17 killed in Afghan violence

Four Afghan police were killed in a rebel ambush in western Afghanistan Sunday, while three army commandos and 10 rebels died in other violence, authorities said.

N Korea preparing for another missile test

North Korea is preparing to launch a short- or medium-range missile, which could come immediately after it carries out its plan to test a long-range rocket early next month, a Japanese newspaper reported yesterday.

Cong main adversary, differences with Left ideological: Advani

Claiming Congress is the main political adversary of BJP and Left parties, the saffron party's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani has ruled out any truck with the Communists for supporting a VP Singh-like candidate for leading the government in case of a hung Parliament.

Discovery lands in Florida after 13-day ISS trip

Shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven returned to Earth on Saturday and successfully wrapped up a construction mission that left the international space station with all its solar wings and extra electrical power.

US fully committed to UN climate talks

The United States will be "fervently engaged" in UN climate talks, the Obama administration's top US climate negotiator said at the opening session of the negotiations.

Israel's new govt to keep up peace process: Peres

President Shimon Peres on Sunday gave assurances that Israel's new government will keep up peace talks, following EU warnings of "consequences" if it failed to commit to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Fresh charges against Varun for violence in Pilibhit

A police case was filed Sunday against Varun Gandhi and two other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for the violence outside the jail here Saturday when the party candidate from Pilibhit was arrested. District authorities, meanwhile, said the BJP leaders had provoked party workers to indulge in violence.

Petition in Pak SC to bar Musharraf from travelling abroad

A petition has been moved in the Lahore Registry of the Pakistan Supreme Court to put former President Pervez Musharraf's name on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Italy's Berlusconi chosen to head new party

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was elected leader of a new conservative party, the People of Freedom (PDL), at its founding congress yesterday.

China calls for vigilance in disease outbreak

China has called on medical personnel nationwide to go door-to-door to help curb an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease that has killed 19 children so far this year, state media said yesterday.

Japan opposition defeated in key election

The candidate for Japan's opposition party yesterday appeared headed for defeat in a key local poll, dealing a fresh blow to the party's scandal-hit leader ahead of general elections, local media said.

Arts & Entertainment

Recalling Satyen Sen in unsettling times

On the occasion of the 102nd birth anniversary of the noted litterateur, journalist, social activist and founder of Udichi -- Satyen Sen (1907-1981), Udichi organised a Gano Sangeet festival and competition on March 28 at the Mahanagar Natyamancho, Gulistan. Titled 'Satyen Sen Gano Sangeet,' the event was first of its kind to promote the genre among the young as well as bring forth talented Gano Sangeet artistes from all over the country.

Picasso, Moore and Warhol prints at Gallery Winners

Gallery Winners at Baridhara, is a private art gallery run by Durjoy Rahman Joy -- a young collector and art enthusiast. The gallery recently held an exhibition titled, “Modern & Contemporary Prints Exhibition,” featuring some globally reputed artists like Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Andy Warhol and noted Bangladeshi printmakers including the late Quamrul Hasan, Shafiuddin Ahmed, Mohammad Kibria, the late Abdur Razzaque, Murtaja Baseer, Rafiquan Nabi, Monirul Islam and Abdus Sattar. The exhibit aimed at promoting printmaking in our country.

Kitaro Inspiring peace with music

In a world torn asunder by hatred and violence, this clearly is an opportune time for the resurgence of the Gandhian principles of 'ahimsa' (non-violence) and compassion. Brilliant Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist Kitaro (born Masanori Takahashi) is obviously thinking along these lines. As part of his Love and Peace Tour 2009, the Grammy and Golden Globe winner delighted the Delhi audience with a spellbinding concert. As he asserts, “My message is from the heart. The aim is to enable people to connect. You could say that I want to create music that eases the war within.”

Srijon’s monthly musical soiree at Nat’l Museum

Cultural organisation Srijon arranged a musical soiree at Poet Sufia Kamal Auditorium, National museum, Dhaka on March 28. This was the 80th programme by the organisation. Srijon organises a musical programme on the last Saturday of every month featuring performances by noted and upcoming artistes. This instalment marked the Independence Day.

Mama Bhagney on Banglavision tonight

Banglavision will air the drama serial "Mama Bhagney" tonight at 8:15 pm. Jointly written by Nazrul Islam and M.S. Rana, and directed by Golam Sohrab Dodul, the humorous serial depicts the relationship of a man and his three nephews.

Drama serial Ghotok Ebong Amra on ETV

Drama serial "Ghotok Ebong Amra" will be aired tonight on Ekushey TV at 9:30 pm. Written By Shubarno Saiful and directed by Debashish Barua, the serial centres on a rural 'ghotok' (match-maker).

World Theatre Day observed in Sirajganj

To mark World Theatre Day, Sirajganj Natya Federation recently chalked out several programmes in the town. The programmes included a procession, discussion, a cultural function and theatre presentation.

Marking Independence Day with a play

Katigram Sporting Club (KSC) staged a play at the club premises in Sadar upazila, Manikganj last Thursday night. The event marked the 38th Independence Day. KSC also organised a discussion on Liberation War prior to staging the play.

OP-ED

Yet another acid test for the nation

BY-elections of the seven vacant parliamentary seats are scheduled for April 2. It is very important that these elections are free, fair, and peaceful. In fact, we feel that these elections are yet another acid test for the nation, and passing this test will largely determine the success of our democratic transition.

Iran on the table

THE world likes mavericks and Iran seems to be enjoying the limelight. Obama's message to the Iranian people in Now Ruz (Iranian New Year) did little to appease the Iranian leaders. They continue being hostile, if not reactionary. How long can this anti-US rhetoric be maintained? Long enough, the evidence suggests but there are unforeseen elements that may make it counter-productive.



The Daily Star

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